The Ukrainian side take on the Red Devils in the Champions League on Wednesday and their experienced tactician thinks a settled starting XI would improve United's resultsDavid Moyes’ rotation policy is the key reason behind Manchester United’s poor start to the season, according to Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu.
United have endured their worst start to a season in 24 years and currently find themselves in 12th spot in the Premier League, with a 2-1 defeat at home to West Brom on Saturday their latest setback.
And Lucescu thinks Moyes’ decision to make a number of changes to his starting XI on such a regular basis is proving detrimental to his hopes of making a strong start to his managerial career at Old Trafford.
“There will always be a change of philosophy under a new coach and every coach needs time to work in a proper way,” Lucescu told reporters. “This is why David Moyes is facing difficulties at this stage.
“But we have analysed the United games and of course we noticed there are always changes in the squad, maybe four or five players [each time]. This rotation means the links between the players can be affected and I think turnover can cause a lot of problems sometimes. We have also discovered that here.
“The other big teams in the English championship, such as Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal, are not rotating the team as much as United and maybe that is a factor.
“We know the work of Mr Moyes from Everton, though, and he is one of the strongest coaches in the Premier League. He needs some time to work with his players and let’s hope the team finds a good pattern after tomorrow night.”
Lucescu previously came up against United in 1999 during his spell at Inter, and the 68-year-old has praised the squad of players at Old Trafford back then.
“Fourteen years ago I played against United and Ferguson with Inter Milan and I have good memories of this game,” he added. "We scored first and United equalised to go through and then won the Champions League.
“The team then was a machine for winning trophies. They had great players such as Giggs and Beckham and played and won against the likes of Inter, Juventus and Bayern Munich.”
Lucescu also revealed his side are relishing facing one of the biggest sides in European football, adding: “It will like a cauldron and support will be very important. Champions League games are always a celebration for the city.
“But ever since I have been the coach of Shakhtar, we haven’t faced the four top European teams – Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. We face United tomorrow, so hopefully we have a chance to play against the others in the future.
“We must show a very good performance because they are a very tough opponent. We will pick our most experienced players. Maybe tomorrow, both coaches will choose the most experienced players to play.
“We have a different team from last season. It is one thing to lose one player and then lose a group of players, but we have lost a group. But we can still show our qualities against United and win.”